The Weekly Review: Calgary EPT Winner, PokerStars Changes, Five-Suit Poker, and Much More

The Weekly Review

There’s a lot to stay on top of if you want to follow the ever-changing poker industry in Canada, online, and around the world, so here’s the week in a nutshell — a recap of all of our major headlines from the past seven days to get you up to speed on all things poker.

Niall Farrell Brings EPT Main Event Title Home to Calgary

Another premier international event came to a close when European Poker Tour’s (EPT) Malta stop concluded with the Main Event. It was a tournament that saw Canadian Daniel Dvoress pick up seventh place for €91,550 as the last player eliminated before the final day of six players.

That final day began with another Canadian elimination. Sam Greenwood collected €125,660 for sixth place. But when the final cards were dealt, it was Niall Farrell who was hoisting the trophy and earning €534,300. Although Farrell is a Scot, he calls Calgary, Alberta home when he isn’t touring the world playing and winning world-class events.

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PokerStars Shakes Poker Community with New Marketing Strategy

The poker community exploded with polarized responses this week when PokerStars announced some significant changes to its loyalty program, promotional campaigns, and policies. The news included their strategy to push big marketing campaigns like their recent sponsorship deals with Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar Jr., as well as plans to change how players will be able to use third-party software when playing online. But the biggest news was their complete restructuring of their VIP program.

Instead of the FPP currency that PokerStars players now earn, the new currency will be called StarsCoin. The reward system has been simplified and the rewards at the highest levels, Supernova and Supernova Elite, will be significantly reduced.

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Canada Well-Represented in Sunday Majors

Every week, we detail Canadian successes in the biggest online Sunday tournaments. There was plenty to write about this week as two Canadians locked up more than $100,000 in PokerStars’ Sunday Million after a six-way deal. Also, ‘DarkHorse19’ won Full Tilt’s Sunday Major and then followed it with a deep finish in the Super Sized Sunday on the same site.

The two Sunday majors on 888poker saw Canadian ‘Lachance2222’ win The $150,000 Mega Deep and three of the top four spots in the $100,000 Sunday Challenge went to Canadian players.

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Cash Casino Calgary Hosts Wild West Shoot Out

Calgary, Alberta saw another tournament poker series come to a close. The province seems to offer more events than the rest of the country combined. This time, Cash Casino put on an eight-event schedule with several unique tournament formats in the mix.

It was a lower-priced series with the Main Event costing just $540 to enter. Two Day 1s combined to create a prize pool of $135,500 with 280 entries and, when Day 2 came to an end, Thomas Taylor won the top prize of $35,000.

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Toronto Game Company Looks to Introduce Fifth Suit to Poker with 65-Card Deck

A Toronto, Ontario-based company is trying to change the poker world with its deck of cards called WILD. We spoke with the company’s President, Vatche Torossian, who explained that he hopes to see WILD become the deck that all of the major poker tours use.

What makes WILD unique is that it is made up of 65 cards rather than the standard 52. The extra 13 cards come from a fifth suit called WILD. Having five suits would make it more difficult to attain a flush, resulting in it ranking higher than a full house when using the deck, and it becomes possible to create five of a kind, ranking just below royal flush.

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WPT Changes Season-Ending Event to Invitational WPT Tournament of Champions

The World Poker Tour (WPT) announced a major change to its premier event of the year. Usually, each season concludes with the WPT Championship. Now, that season-ending tournament has been replaced with the WPT Tournament of Champions — a $15,400 invitational tournament exclusive to WPT Champions Club members only.

Every Season XIV Main Tour champion is already automatically entered into the WPT Tournament of Champions as part of their title win, but the champions of all previous seasons will also be able to buy in for $15,400, making the tournament an all-champions affair.

The announcement came with WPT’s release of the second half of their Season XIV schedule which includes the WPT Fallsview Poker Classic, subject to pending regulatory approval, and will run from February 21 to 24. 2016.

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The 2015 WPT Montreal is Coming Up Soon

Speaking of the World Poker Tour, Playground Poker Club is getting ready to host one of the top Canadian poker events of the year. WPT Montreal will run from November 13 to 19 at the Kahnawake, Quebec venue with a buy-in of $3,850.

The PokerNews live reporting team will be there for the marquee event to share all of the action with players around the world. Players will also be able to use the MyStack app to update their hands and chip counts straight to the live blog.

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The Top Canadian Poker Player is Still Mike McDonald

Every week, we take a look at the rankings on the Global Poker Index (GPI) and share the top players in Canada and the world, as well as who made the biggest gains and losses on poker’s most widely respected player-ranking system.

Mike McDonald held on to the top spot in Canada for the second week in a row while Sam Greenwood climbed two spots to reach No. 4 in the country. American Byron Kaverman took over the top spot in the 2015 GPI Player of the Year race and is also currently the top-ranked player in the world.

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Macau Billionaire Poker to Host Two Super High Roller Tournaments

A five-event series in Perth, Australia wouldn’t normally be on the radar of PokerNews Canada, but when two of the events carry such large price tags, it becomes news worth sharing. Macau Billionaire Poker (MBP) is hosting the 2015 MBP Crowne Perth Super High Roller that includes tournaments with a buy-in of $50,000 AUD and $100,000 AUD.

The ‘Billionaire 50K’ and ‘Billionaire 100K’ will likely attract some of Canada’s top players for one last major event to close out 2015, as the series runs from December 11 to 13.

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